Friday, January 30, 2009

The Oldest Casting-Couch Trick in the Book

"Alright, little girl, we're going to do an improv. I'm a producer and you're going out for a sexy role. Now show me that you really, really want this part."

That is the oldest and lamest casting-couch trick in the book, and yes, I actually fell for it.

But since it was the last casting-couch scenario I fell prey to, I consider it a victory of sorts.

Final Hollywood Scumbag, like Stripper Pimp, was a talent manager. Unlike Stripper Pimp, Final Hollywood Scumbag actually represented people I had heard of. He specialized in stand-up comics, including a brilliant Mexican-American comedian (" 'Member? You 'member!") who went on to have his own ABC sitcom.

I received a phone call from Final Hollywood Scumbag less than a week after Stripper Pimp dropped me, because I'd been mailing my pictures to agents and managers religiously.

Final Hollywood Scumbag was none-too-thrilled that I had reached the ripe old age of 25, grousing that I looked younger in my pictures. He also dismissed my interest in comedy, cutting me off with, "Pretty girls don't make good comics."

If I'd had higher self-esteem, I would have politely hung up the phone and forgotten all about him. Instead, I came in for a meeting, so he could put me down in person: "There is absolutely nothing worth noting on your resume. Until you lose 15 pounds, you're a joke. Why are you wearing open-toed shoes if you have big feet? Why aren't you wearing nail polish?"

I showed up the next day in a sexy black pantsuit, nails dutifully painted.

He liked it so much he ordered me to come back in a dress, a sexy bra, panties and a garter. I scoured the bargain racks at Ross and Playmates, returning all glammed up and $100 poorer.

That's when he first led me through the pretend-you're-a-sexpot routine.

"Prove to me you really, really want this part."

I talked, I emoted, I overacted, I even stripped, while he yawned and said, "I don't believe you really want this part."

He was happy to look at my boobs, though. "Even though they're small, they are quite possibly the most perfect little breasts I've ever seen."

I didn't hear anything back for about a month, when he called and asked me to come back in. He offered to set up meetings with a few key casting directors in exchange for me cleaning his office, doing his mailings and working the phones.

And let's not forget role playing.

Same scene, same basic scenario. Over and over and over. I stripped butt naked three times. And finally, the third time, I understood how to show him I really, really wanted the part. I sat on his lap and talked sexy while he pleasured himself. Finally, the scene was Oscar-worthy.

Did I mention that he was a friend of my Dirty Old Nobody agent?

They talked about me and came to two conclusions: 1) that I was a good little "second banana" actress – not pretty enough to play the lead girl, but a perfect best friend, and 2) I was "willing to do what I needed to do" – Hollywood code for casting-couch slut.

My dirty dealings with Final Hollywood Scumbag ended pretty quickly. It was all a little too Aunt Jemima for my tastes – scrubbing his grungy office until it shone, then helping Massa undo his pants.

The final straw was when he asked me to messenger other actors' submissions all over town, when my pictures weren't even in the stack.

I finally got the message. I didn't want to be known as an actress who was willing to do what she had to do. I was no longer willing to do it, and I never did it again.

(Stripper/Casting Couch Diaries Part 16 of 17: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)
(Stripper/Casting Couch Lessons Learned 1-2: 1 2)

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"and I never did it again."

You go girl. I feel the empowerment in your writing. The story you are sharing is beautiful. Kinda like the movie the Kite Runner...the pain in the movie only makes the end of the story that much more beautiful. I look forward to your life and story as it develops, improves, becomes more beautiful.

Cheron L. Hall said...

that asshole.

peacewest said...

good for you !
you're worth much more than what you were giving off .
you're my elder so i won't nag you, but your body is a temple of God, and you dont have to do all that to get noticed, cuz it appears you have great talent :)

Blogger said...

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